September 28, 2005

Family of shot Brazilian visit death scene

LONDON (Reuters) - The family of a Brazilian man shot dead
by British police by mistake following attacks on the London
transport system in July visited the scene of his death on

Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, was shot seven times in the
head on July 22 as he boarded an underground train at Stockwell
station in south London when police hunting for the
perpetrators of a botched attack the previous day believed he
had a bomb.

His parents, Matozinhos Otone Da Silva and Maria Otone da
Menezes, his brother, Giovani, and his wife and three children
were taken by friends to Stockwell station to see where he died
so violently.

They stopped briefly to look at an impromptu memorial of
messages of sympathy that has been set up near the entrance to
the station before being taken down to the platform.

The family were to give a news conference later in the day.

They flew in from Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday -- at British
police expense -- demanding justice for his death and seeking
information on the circumstances.

Police have admitted making a mistake and apologized, and
early details of a supposedly secret independent inquiry into
the killing have revealed a series of communications blunders
between police teams with shoot-to-kill authority.

Metropolitan Police chief Ian Blair has asked to meet the
family and apologize in person, but the family's lawyers have

The shooting happened the day after four bombers botched a
bid to blow up three underground trains and a bus, and two
weeks after suicide bombers killed 52 people in an identical

The incident, and the way it was handled, deeply
embarrassed Blair and his police force which had initially been
praised for the investigations into the attacks -- as they
mounted the biggest manhunt in British history.

Initial reports from police and witnesses said de Menezes
had been wearing a bulky jacket, had vaulted a ticket barrier
and run when challenged by officers.

But leaked details of an initial report by the Independent
Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) cast serious doubt on the
claims and provoked an angry response from de Menezes's family
who accused the police of lying.

Blair admitted the aftermath of the shooting had been
mishandled but denied they had tried to mislead the family.

Brazil sent a team of investigators to meet detectives and
the IPCC after which the ambassador to London said he had seen
no evidence there had been a cover-up.